Safaricom Limited has announced an increase in all its tariffs in Kenya. Bob Collymore, Safaricom Limited CEO says this is because of the drastic weakening of the Kenyan shilling compared to other currencies which has impacted to a challenging economic situation experienced in Kenya in the recent years.

Effective tomorrow 1st October 2010, Safaricom subscribers will be charged Ksh 4 on net and Ksh 5 Off net per minute to other networks, however SMS and Data services wont be affected.

Due to the nature of Safaricom's business, which is heavily reliant on both the regular importation of US dollar-denominated capital equipment and a very high dependency on energy sources such as the national electricity grid and diesel fuel to power our extensive telecommunications network, the company's operational costs have escalated to unsustainable levels in the context of their operating environment.

"This is the first time in Safaricom's 11 year history that we have had to effect a price increase on our retail voice tariffs. This is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions that my management team and I have had to make, not least because we understand fully well that it is not good news for our customers", says Bob Collymore.

He added that coming to this decision, the company had done their best to acknowledge and indeed show solidarity with the tough times that all Kenyans are facing, while at the same time balancing the need to ensure that their investors, majority of whom are Kenyan, know that Safaricom is committed to deliver value to them in a sustainable manner.

There has been speculation in the industry about this increment after Collymore tweeted that there could be an increase since the current rates are not sustainable. But it is interesting to note that the increase has come a month after Rene Meza resigned from Airtel, Safaricom's fierce competitor and the instigator of the now infamous mobile wars.

Meza's departure from Airtel has given Safaricom some breathing space to make strategic moves in an effort to recoup from a dwindling voice business.